On Monday, the second semester of my former college started. My initial thoughts on this were, “I was supposed to be there” and “I was meant to graduate this year.” These are thoughts that I have had for a long time about a lot of things regarding how things were “supposed to be”. Life definitely has not gone as anticipated. I, and others in my life, imagined that I would graduate in the spring with an Early Childhood Education degree and then go on to get a teaching job. Everything is just so different.
It is such a challenge to stay away from comparing myself to others. Success is often measured around educational experiences and I have not been in school since 2014. Often, I will catch myself thinking that I have not done anything in my time away from school. I get this silly idea in my head that I have just been sitting around or something. Wrong. In my time away from school I have been actively fighting to save my life from mental illnesses that threatened to kill me. Treatment is a lot of work. I spent time literally learning how to eat again. I spent time healing the damage I did to my body. I spent endless hours in groups during treatment where I was challenged more than I ever was in the classroom.
Frankly, I would have died. Yes, my life path has been different but I did not leave school because I did not care about my education, but because I was saving my life. I could not have stayed at school. I could not have just ignored what was happening because if I had I would have been dead within a few months. That is scary but it is also the sick reality of anorexia.
So much good has come from my path changing. I think of the girls that I have met through my time away from school. Some of my best friends are girls that I met at TK and IDC. We have an indescribable bond because we have been through so much together. We have cried together, complained together, learned together, bonded together, and laughed together. Cheesy, but so true. A group of us at TK would stay up late and hang out. Those were the best moments…when we got to forget about treatment for a while and just have fun.
I never would have decided to change my major to social work without my experience in treatment. I am grateful that I have been able to find out what my true calling is. I will not go back to school until next fall, but I am so excited to have found something I am so passionate about. Without treatment, I would never have had the confidence to pursue my dreams of one day becoming a therapist who works with individuals recovering from eating disorders. I am so excited that I am going to do something
Personally, I believe in God and I believe that He has a plan for me. However, whether or not anyone else believes that is true…I have learned that I am unable to control what happens but sometimes it turns out infinitely better than you could ever imagine. These past few years have been challenging, painful, but also so worthwhile. I am so glad to be where I am today.